Indonesia arrests 22 militants following attack on minister

Indonesian National Police spokesperson Brig. Gen. Dedi Prasetyo shows a picture of the knives used in the attack against Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security Wiranto, during a press conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. (AP)
Updated 14 October 2019

Indonesia arrests 22 militants following attack on minister

  • Police were hunting other suspected militants, who mostly are participants in a social media chat group and are members of a local affiliate of Daesh
  • Chief Security Minister Wiranto is recovering in an army hospital in Jakarta

JAKARTA: At least 22 suspected militants plotting bombings and other attacks have been arrested in a counterterrorism crackdown following last week’s assault by a knife-wielding militant couple who wounded Indonesia’s top security minister, police said Monday.
National police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo told a news conference that the police’s elite anti-terror squad, known as Densus 88, seized 10 homemade pipe bombs believed to be intended for suicide attacks, chemicals for use in explosives, airsoft guns, knives, documents on planned attacks, extremist books, laptops and cellphones in separate raids.
Police were hunting other suspected militants, who mostly are participants in a social media chat group and are members of a local affiliate of the Daesh group known as the Jama’ah Anshorut Daulah, or JAD.
“Members of this group are free to conduct ‘amaliah’ independently, depending on the ability of those who want to carry out the attacks,” Prasetyo said, referring to an Arabic term for violent militant action against those perceived as enemies of Islam.
Chief Security Minister Wiranto, a local police chief and a third man were wounded in the broad daylight attack on Thursday by the couple in the western province of Banten. Wiranto, who goes by one name, is recovering in an army hospital in Jakarta and police were interrogating the couple, who were believed to be members of a JAD bloc in Banten.
Wiranto, a 72-year-old former armed forces chief, sustained two stab wounds in the stomach but was in stable condition. The attack came just over a week before the Oct. 20 inauguration of President Joko Widodo for his second five-year term.
Widodo has called the attackers terrorists and urged people to combat radicalism. He ordered government forces to hunt down the militant networks responsible for the attack on Wiranto.
Among the suspects arrested in the series of police raids following last week’s attack were a man and his 14-year-old son on the Indonesian resort island of Bali who plotted to make a bomb for an attack against the local police. They were arrested just hours after the attack against Wiranto.
The other suspects targeting state forces were captured by anti-terrorism commandos on the main island of Java, where the bustling capital, Jakarta, lies; in Banten; and in the provinces of Lampung, West Java and Jambi, as well as in Poso town, a hotbed of militants on Sulawesi island, Prasetyo said.
A suspect arrested in North Sulawesi province was affiliated with a Daesh group-aligned militant bloc called the East Indonesian Mujahidin group in Poso town. Identified by police only by his nom de guerre Jack Sparrow, he has pledged to carry out a bomb attack in the restive Indonesian province of Papua.
Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, has carried out a sustained crackdown on Islamic militants since bombings on Bali in 2002 killed 202 people, mostly foreigners.
The Jemaah Islamiyah military network, which was blamed for the Bali attacks, was neutralized following the arrests of hundreds of its militants and leaders. But new threats have emerged in recent times from Daesh group-inspired radicals who have targeted security forces and local “infidels” instead of Westerners.


Pakistan PM Khan slams ‘oppressor’ India on Kashmir anniversary

Updated 05 August 2020

Pakistan PM Khan slams ‘oppressor’ India on Kashmir anniversary

  • Solidarity marches were held in all major Pakistani cities to mark the anniversary of New Delhi stripping Muslim-majority Indian Kashmir of its semi-autonomous status
  • Kashmir, a disputed Himalayan territory, has been split since 1947 between India and Pakistan, both of which claim it in full and have fought wars over it

MUZAFFARABAD, Pakistan: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan branded India an “oppressor and aggressor” on Wednesday, a year after New Delhi imposed direct rule on Indian-administered Kashmir.
Solidarity marches were held in all major Pakistani cities to mark the anniversary of New Delhi stripping Muslim-majority Indian Kashmir of its semi-autonomous status, a move that outraged Islamabad.
Kashmir, a disputed Himalayan territory, has been split since 1947 between India and Pakistan, both of which claim it in full and have fought wars over it.
“India stands exposed before the world, yet again, as an oppressor and aggressor,” Khan said in a statement.
“Its so-called secular and democratic credentials stand fully discredited,” he added, calling India’s action last year a “crime against humanity.”
Khan led a march through Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-administered-Kashmir, before addressing the region’s legislative assembly.
Across the city, more than 2,000 people turned out at a series of anti-India protests.
“We ask the world to give Kashmiris their right of self-determination, otherwise we will cross the Line of Control and help our brothers on the other side with arms,,” Arslan Ahmad, a refugee who fled Indian-administered Kashmir, told AFP.
“Half of my family is under siege in Indian-occupied Kashmir, my mother is dying to meet her sister, this dispute has left our generations torn apart,” 31-year old Usman Mir added.
Police were enforcing tight restrictions in Indian-administered Kashmir on Wednesday, where religious and political groups had called on residents to observe a “black day.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government had promised the move would bring peace and prosperity to Indian Kashmir after three decades of violence sparked by an anti-India uprising.
Pakistan, however, has alleged it is a violation of the rights of Kashmiri people.
Khan accused India of trying to turn Kashmir’s Muslim majority into a minority by ending restrictions on outsiders buying up property “in blatant violation of... UN Security Council Resolutions and international laws.”
The change in rules has sparked fears that the Modi government is pursuing an Israel-style “settler” project.
A referendum in Kashmir mandated by a UN resolution in 1948 has never taken place.
“India has learned from Israel how to change the demography (of Kashmir),” President Arif Alvi told a rally in the Pakistani capital Islamabad, which observed a one-minute silence.
Hundreds of billboards and banners displayed graphic images purportedly of human rights violations by Indian authorities in Kashmir.
On Tuesday, Pakistan released a new official map showing all of Kashmir as its territory.
The Pakistan military, meanwhile, said Indian troops had fired a shell across the de-facto border, killing a young woman and wounding six other people.
Such exchanges are common along the Kashmir demarcation line, with shells blasted in both directions.